By Dipo Olowookere
Shareholders of MTN Nigeria Communications Plc will get the sum of N3.50 paid to them for each of the company’s stock in their possession.
This is what the board of the telco is proposing to pay as an interim dividend for the half-year ended June 30, 2020.
This information was contained in the financial statements of the organisation submitted to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
The interim dividend is subject to appropriate deduction of withholding tax and will be paid to shareholders whose names appear in the register of members as at the close of business on August 14, 2020, MTN Nigeria said.
Also, it stated that the register of members will be closed from August 17, 2020, while the cash reward would be paid electronically directly to bank accounts of shareholders on August 24, 2020.
In the period under review, MTN Nigeria increased its revenue by 12.5 per cent to N638.1 billion from N567.0 billion in the corresponding period of last year.
The 15.6 per cent growth in the mobile subscriber base of MTN Nigeria to 71.1 million provided support for the 2.8 per cent rise in the voice revenue, which contributed 67.9 per cent to the service revenue of N637.0 billion versus N565.9 billion in H1 2019.
Also, data revenue, which accounted for 24.2 per cent of the service turnover, grew in the period by 57.6 per cent to N154.1 billion from N97.8 billion in the first six months of 2019.
According to the telco, this significant increase in data consumption of its customers was achieved through improved 4G penetration and enhanced network capacity to support traffic growth due to the lockdown imposed on Lagos, Abuja and Ogun State in the most part of the second quarter of the year by the federal government.
In the period under review, 4.0 million new smartphones were added to MTN Nigeria network, bringing the smartphone penetration to 43.5 per cent on its base.
Also, in the first half of 2020, the digital revenue of MTN Nigeria continued to rise, with digital offerings recording a growth of 121.8 per cent and this was because of the uptake of its digital products and services.
In addition, fintech revenue recorded a growth of 29.6 per cent, driven by the airtime lender platform called MTN Xtratime as well as the agent network. The total number of transactions processed by its agents during the period was over 14.6 million.
For capital expenditure, there was a 20.9 per cent decline to N76.0 billion because of slower site rollout caused by port congestion, movement restriction and scarcity of foreign exchange.
Also, the pre-tax profit of MTN Nigeria dropped 2.0 per cent as a result of an increase in finance costs from higher borrowing. In the first half of the year, the company issued a N100 billion commercial paper at 5.74 per cent, allowing the firm to widen its sources of funding.
In addition, the post-tax profit and earnings per share (EPS) depreciated by 4.7 per cent respectively, reflecting an increase in taxation mainly due to lower investment allowance and exempt income.
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